The Nfl is running scared.

And if the league doesn’t want its running backs running scared, and its fawning fans frustrated again by overofficiousness, a mindless, misguided rule change must be voted down next week when the owners convene in Phoenix.

The NFL, desperate to stiff-arm the burgeoning number of concussion-driven lawsuits from former players, is mulling a fumble from which running backs would never recover.

The most alarming of the six rules changes proposed by the NFL’s Competition Committee reads as follows: “Player safety: Initiating contact with the crown of the helmet is a foul if the runner or tackler delivers a forceable blow against his opponent when both players are outside the tackle box.”